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CCA slams 46pc of ARRS funding spent recruiting clinical pharmacists

Pharmacy News

CCA slams 46pc of ARRS funding spent recruiting clinical pharmacists

Between 2019/20 and 2021/22, the total amount spent on the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme was £839 million, and of that the amount spent on the recruitment of clinical pharmacists totalled £387m, representing over 46 per cent of ARRS spending. 

The Company Chemists Association has described the figures as "staggering".

The figures were revealed in the answer to a parlimentary question after Sir John Haynes asked what the cost of the ARRS was in total,  and the costs for the recruitment of clinical pharmacists under the scheme. He also asked what the recent assessment made by the Department of Health showed of the effectiveness of the scheme on patient outcomes.

Health secretary Neil O'Brien confirmed that NHS England has committed to review the ARRS during 2023/24. "This work will cover the performance of the scheme to date and inform the Government’s approach to any future support for additional clinical roles in general practice," he said.

CCA chief executive Malcolm Harrison commented: "NHS England has spent £387m and counting – or 46 per cent of all ARRS funding – recruiting clinical pharmacists into primary care networks. This is a staggering amount of money which has directly led to the shortfall of community pharmacists in England.

"This money could have been invested in frontline pharmacy staff allowing pharmacists to provide even more vital patient-facing care. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a short-sighted strategy. The pharmacy network needs investment especially as we gear up to deliver the Pharmacy First Common Conditions Service.”

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